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Tes 20 August 2021

Tes is dedicated to supporting the world’s teachers. Our mission is to enable great teaching by helping educators find the tools and technology they need to excel, supporting them throughout their career and professional development.

United Kingdom
Tes Global Ltd
51 Issues

in this issue

3 min

During my childhood, it was around this time of year that an advert would start appearing on television for a well-known stationery supplier, which filled me with dread. The ad celebrated the looming return of school with the song It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. As the tune played, a gleeful father filled his trolley with items for his two children, who trailed behind, morose at the reality of returning to the classroom. I can still recall the visceral hatred I had for this advert, revelling as it did in the end of our summer holiday and the freedom it represented. I suspect it elicited a similar feeling from teachers (if not quite as strong, perhaps), for whom it served as a reminder that their six weeks of rest, relaxation…

3 min
the future of exams? many more questions than answers

As results week fades from view, many will be breathing a sigh of relief that the much-feared appealageddon that teacher-assessed grades were expected to cause never happened. No doubt the situation was helped by the fact that 44.3 per cent of all A levels awarded were A and A* and 28.5 per cent of GCSEs were grade 7/A and above. Yet despite us avoiding a repeat of last year’s results debacle, many questions have been raised by this year’s TAG system: how do we return to pre-pandemic grade levels? Should we switch to numerical grading for A levels? Is it time for GCSEs to be replaced? Answers to these questions are, of course, not simple. For example, a report by the Institute for Government (IfG) think tank suggests that holding the 2022…

3 min
five things schools can do to make the most of early career teachers

With September just around the corner, there is one group for whom the thought of returning to the classroom feels especially strange: early career teachers (ECTs). After all, for us, the past 18 months have been an introduction to teaching like no other: from school closures that forced us to teach remotely to being in the classroom, “teaching from the front” while wearing visors and masks, it has been a whirlwind. But while it has been tough, it has also been an opportunity to build resilience and develop new ways of working that will serve as the foundation for our career journey. ECTs will return with both an array of new skills and ideas, and some notable gaps in their experience. Here’s how schools can take advantage of their eagerness and aptitudes while…

2 min
how to show your students that hard work is a virtue

“The children at our school are respectful, charitable and responsible: all lifelong qualities fit for learning and citizenship.” A variation on the above is usually seen on school websites. The students will also be humble, charitable and honest – all intrinsic virtues that are good in themselves and seek or expect no reward; it’s the right way to be. Does “hard work” have a place among these virtues? The term rarely appears in such lists, and hard work is usually urged on the promise of something in return – praise, good grades, exam success, financial reward. But if we place work ethic as a rewardable act, do we risk creating students who do not see working hard as a virtuous action and the right way to be but something contingent on an outside…

8 min
10 questions with… ade adepitan

Ade Adepitan is a TV presenter well known for hosting documentaries on subjects ranging from climate change to travelogues. He also represented Great Britain at the 2004 Paralympic Games, in which he won a bronze medal in wheelchair basketball. He spoke to Tes about his school days, memorable teachers who made a real difference to his life, an eye-opening trip out of London and why he’s hoping to educate the next generation about how to tackle climate change. 1. Where did you go to primary school? I went to a school called Credon Primary School, which we later moved out of because it was a really old building. [I then went to] a school called Southern Road Primary School in Plaistow [in East London]. 2. What are some of your first memories there? My first…

17 min
changing the subject

Primary: ‘The best resources teachers can seek out are each other’ An area all primary children will have missed out on over the past 18 months is the performing arts: teaching drama, dance and music remotely was incredibly tough, and even once we were back in school, social distancing and bubbles prevented collaboration between different classes in these subjects. Writing, too, has suffered. We all know that writing is a challenging and complex skill that requires strong subject knowledge and grammar. However, what is not usually discussed is the knowledge of how it feels to be a writer. Teachers could therefore develop their knowledge and practice of this by reading about how writers write, and also by doing some writing themselves. Putting Covid gaps aside, music can be an especially challenging subject for…